A Visit to The Happiest Place on Earth

Y’all, the bff and I went to Disney World recently and it. was. amazing. We met aaaaaall the princesses, gorged ourselves at the Epcot Food and Wine Festival, rode all the good rides, ran around in our mouse ears, and generally acted like idiots for three days. And do you SEE that giant pink Minnie Mouse bow? It was the best.

Us, basically.

Disney World is, of course, a mecca for young children everywhere. Watching a little girl’s joy meeting Ariel or a little boy running around with Alice waving at caterpillars in the garden is an entirely new level of adorable. However, we discovered that Disney World is also the greatest place ever to be an adult because you have to use your brain absolutely 0% of the time. 

Lost? Employees know where absolutely everything is. Tired? Take a shuttle or tram back to your “resort” and let it practically drop you at your door. Hungry? Walk up to any country in Epcot and someone will pretty much shove food in your hand. Thirst-ay? You bet there’s a bar in spitting distance. Bored? Nope, because you’re at Disney World. All you need to do to be entertained is walk twenty feet to the right and oh my god is that Gaston!? 

Of course, all this greatness comes as a price. Not only is Disney World an expensive place to visit, it’s also one of the weirdest, most surreal places to experience as an adult. Why?

Disney World is oddly dated. Not only are some of their resorts in dire need of an upgrade, but many of the rides show clear evidence of what we would politely refer to as “simpler times.” Not only does It’s a Small World stereotype every culture in the whole world, there’s also a lot of emphasis on butts. Splash Mountain features a series of animatronic bears with their head stuck in positions that fully present their large butts to those on the ride. To top it off, there is always some sort of animatronic motion of another creature pushing suggestively on the butt.

At first glance, the Disney experience feels so low-tech. There aren’t touch-responsive screens scattered everywhere, no fancy holograms, or high-tech augmented reality spotlights. But, as you start thinking about it, what feels like “old technology” is actually seriously high-tech robotics. One of the first attractions we went into was The Hall of Presidents and we were floored by the intricate movements that made each president feel real–twitching fingers, furrowing brows. That level of intricate design, construction, and maintenance is just mind-blowing.

“Face characters” never break character. Never ever. It is utterly bizarre to be greeted by a bubbling Snow White, who you know is really just some twenty-something who eats ice cream on the couch in her ratty sweatpants like the rest of us, and try to have a conversation with her about how Doc checks her hair bow for her every morning. Or listen to Anna from Frozen explain how to make a chocolate sandwich. How are you supposed to respond to that? You can do what I do, which is mumble incoherently and just smile until the photographer is done.

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Bonus weirdness: Apparently people regularly try to dump the cremated remains of their loved ones in the Haunted Mansion. Don’t be that guy.

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